This is an autoimmune condition triggered by the consumption of gluten found in wheat, barley, rye and occasionally oats. Frequently there is confusion of a patient’s symptoms, sometimes leading to a diagnosis of IBS or wheat intolerance. Untreated celiac disease can lead to increased risk of osteoporosis and small bowel cancer.
Symptoms of celiac disease include:
- Weight loss
- Joint or bone pain
- Mouth ulcers
- Dematitis herpetiformis (a skin condition associated with coeliac disease)
Coeliac disease is diagnosed first of all with a blood test for immunoglobulin A or tissue transglutaminase amtonpdoes (tTGA). If this proves inconclusive. Endomysial antibodies may also be tested for, and later with an endoscopy and biopsy of the duodenum.
Gluten-free food including pasta, flour, biscuits, crackers and even breads and pizza bases are available on prescription.